Crisis Too Great to Waste
So Barack Obama proposes
massive government spending like we have never seen before as our way back
to economic prosperity. Yet wasn't it a mountain of unpayable debt that got
us into this financial crisis in the first place? The rivers of red ink he
proposes would make FDR and LBJ blush. This approach may have worked
politically for FDR and LBJ, but neither time did it work economically for
the country. It may work politically for Obama too, but deficit spending
will not work economically today either.
Banana republics are known for this kind of governance.
It is a recipe for a treasury default or hyperinflation that no
industrialized county has seen since Germany's Weimar Republic in the 1920s.
And that debacle sewed the seeds for the despotism of the Third Reich.
Obama is a smart guy. He can't possibly be naive enough
to think more debt piled on the existing $10.6 trillion national debt is the
solution to the economic mess we are in. Recessions are a natural part of
the economic cycle and only market forces can correct them. One can only
wonder about his true motives.
A common characteristic of all authoritarian regimes is
the need to control their populace by some crisis, real or imagined. Could
it be that the genuine financial crisis we now face will give Obama and the
Left a ready-made excuse to regulate, tax, socialize and otherwise control
our lives in unprecedented ways?
Over the past year, the American public has learned a
bit about community organizers from Chicago. The first among them to come to
mind is Barack Obama. Then there is William Ayres. However, another
individual is the mentor to them all. He is Saul Alinsky.
Alinsky is considered a father of American radicalism.
His 1971 book, “Rules for Radicals" laid out the uncompromising tactics
necessary to force radical change upon society. These rules have come to
define the lawless methods of Leftist protestors and activists since the
Vietnam era. Now, more than ever, the disregard of constitutional principles
by the Left threatens the personal liberties of all Americans.
Obama is the latest and most successful Alinkyite ever
to gain power. He is a charismatic cross between a 1960s radical and a
Chicago machine politician. His campaign was a testament to the policy of
having no principle other than to do whatever was necessary to win.
To paraphrase Rahm Emanuel, this is certainly a crisis
too great for the Left to waste. This could be a once in a lifetime
opportunity to push their agenda wholesale upon the American people. The
worsening recession opens the way for government intervention on a scale
greater than the New Deal or the Great Society. A Republican administration
has already paved the way. And the people, wanting action, will accept any
stimulus package of any size no matter what the consequences to the deficit.
Fear makes normally constitutionally minded people
behave in strange ways. When someone is about to lose his job or her life
savings, most people will sacrifice their personal freedoms to prevent that
from happening. Self-survival trumps rationality, and the herd mentality
soon becomes mob rule. The rule of law becomes the rule of men. In such an
emotionally charged atmosphere, most people run to anyone who offers them
any glimmer of hope. And for many people today, that person is Barack Obama.
As Obama said recently, "this painful crisis also gives
us an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of ordinary
people." Transformation is a key word. Crisis gives him the opportunity, and
now he has the personal mandate to do it.
The erosions of the constitutional liberties will
probably be gradual. Each step will have its explanation. The fawning media
will cheer it on. And Obama will provide a reasoned justification for it
all. Yet it is an illusion. The skeptics among us would say the real game is
about tightening the Leftist grip on power.
Think about it. We have the $700 billion TARP bailout
and an $800 billion stimulus package. These come in addition to the $407
billion general deficit , plus more than $140 billion for AIG, more than
$100 billion for Fannie and Freddie, $29 billion for Bear Stearns, $20
billion for CitiGroup, and $25 billion for the auto companies. While some of
funds overlap and will be recovered, it is fair to say the total deficit
will far exceed $1 trillion. And all that is before Obama takes office. Then
there is his promise of universal health care and other social programs.
Federal, state and local government spending already
consumes about one-third of the Gross Domestic Product. Obama proposals, if
enacted, could conceivably grow the total government spending to more than
40 percent of the GDP. Obama seems to believe we can borrow our way out a
crisis that was created by borrowing in the first place. It is a house of
We are headed either for national bankruptcy or
inflation so great that the dollar becomes worthless. Crisis drives fear,
which drives rapid change in our national fabric toward collective
socialism. Once the people become dependant on a government rescue in their
lives, the social programs Obama enacts will become a fixture in Washington
never to be undone. It is all right out of the Alinsky playbook.
Constitutionally minded people have fought the
socialist agenda for years. Yet they've never fought it with so much of
government controlled by the Left while led by such a charismatic leader.
Soon enough, Bush will be a memory and Obama will own the economic mess with
no answers except more government. Unemployment, inflation, and other
economic maladies will painfully show themselves no matter what spin is used
to explain them.
Conservatives must frame the conversation in a reasoned
way based on less regulation and the unharnessing of free enterprise.
Therein lies the only true strategy for renewed economic growth. The
conservative position will require a very energetic and skillful response by
the GOP to stop the incremental governmental control over society by the
Obama and the Left. It will require Republicans to pull themselves together
and rediscover the principles for which they truly stand. Let's hope they
can do it before it is too late.